At age twelve, Cassandra Madden fell in love with Jefferson Ames, a young man she met at one of her mother s business conferences. Over the years, during periods of loneliness and struggle, Cassandra held onto this unrequited love in order to cope with her isolated heart and the pain of a cold-blooded mother. Even when Cassandra grew up, went off to college, and met a man she thought she d marry, her heart yearned for Jeff. In a decisive moment, she broke off the pending engagement and traveled to Williamsburg, Virginia, where the w-widowed Jeff lives with his child. Cassandra becomes the child s nanny but, even though she sees the object of her desire every day, Jeff has yet to even tice her. Then, one night, a discovery sends her spiraling into danger, and she realizes that until she discovers every last secret of the people around her, she and Jeff will never have a chance to be happy together.